8 Steps to running a successful pilot program

Table of Contents

When you think about implementing a new solution for your business, it is necessary to make sure that it will be advantageous before start making changes. Running a pilot program allow you to test diverse aspects on a small scale. Before you make an investment on any king of technology or equipment, you need to know if these solutions will be appropriate to your company. To acknowledge that, you have to do your research, talk to your stakeholders, and weigh your options in order to narrow your choices.

How to test new solutions for your company?

Here are six key steps you will need to address success.

Define what you are testing

It is advisable writing down what you want to test. It is also wise to identify what you’re not testing. Make sure you have a set of success outcomes and metrics in mind. Having a good idea about what you attempt obtain from the gathered data will help you to build a simple dashboard that you can monitor throughout the pilot period.
Be prepared to carry out some qualitative research alongside the process.

Identify your goals

The first step is to have clear goals and objectives for the new technology and know what you are trying to accomplish with the new solutions. Keep this goal in mind throughout the pilot and make sure you find a way to measure it at the end. This is the only way you could know if the new technology would benefit your business.

Create your timelines

Once you have determined your goals, you should decide the length of the period you will keep the test running. The resources and time allocated to the tests will depend on the length of the tests.

Develop a strategy

Having a plan before you start your test is important to avoid unexpected issues. All the team involved in the pilot program should know the details and what to in case any unforeseen circumstances arise.

Choose the appropriate team

Try to pick up a team that feel comfortable working together and with the tested technology. If your workers do not have experience on that, provide training and resources throughout the program to help participants get comfortable using it. This will benefit the pilot programs.

Set up the right metrics

Data is essential to make informed decisions. With data, you can convince stakeholders about the effectiveness of the desired solution. You use data to get insights, measuring and assessing various activities. Metrics should indicate, clearly, where you are in relation to your goals. Good metrics are always trackable, important, and explainable.

Analyze your data

Evaluating this data will help you to check if you have reached your objectives. A comprehensive analysis will provide the information you need to decide if the new solution was a success and should be adopted permanently or you need to find an alternative.

Get feedback on the pilot experience


Provide your team the opportunity to share their feedback on their experience with the piloted program. The pilot really is a chance for trial and error, so find out what worked and what does not is paramount and the team involved in the project have something to say about it. Their feedback will be essential in helping to evaluate if the new technology will be appropriate. The participants should have the opportunity to share feedback throughout the process, as well as at the end through group discussions, surveys, or evaluations.
Pilots are a great way to test new ideas or technology. If you have a new product or service idea, and you believe it could be helpful for your company, you need to run a pilot. After that, you will be sure your business is moving in the right direction.

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About the author

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Sandra Melo

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